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  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Note: This isn't specific to the BRCS project unless it is enthusiastically pushed to become so by others. But it is specific to 3rd ed. D&D and Birthright.

    Resurrection
    In my BR campaign I've really emphasized the idea that resurrection isn't really an option short of divine intervention. To this end, I've entirely stricken Raise Dead and Resurrection from the clerical spell lists, and let the players know that only a Miracle would be capable of such a feat (essentially duplicating a True Ressurection spell, but with a 5000 xp cost attached). And even that won't bring back a lost bloodline, though certain magic items and realm spells are capable of preserving a slain regent's bloodline.

    To keep things level, however, I've also removed their reverse spells (Slay Living and Destruction), and generally discourage death spells of any sort (those with a HD limit, like Cloudkill or Circle of Death, seem more balanced than "save or die" spells).

    Death and Dying
    As my PC's have gotten into higher levels, I've increasingly experienced serious problems with the potent lethality of high-level monsters and NPC's. Spells, crits, and bad-assed fighters with strong magic weapons can often land blows that spell instant death for a PC - meaning they go from conscious (over 0 hp) to dead in one blow. No bleeding to death, no chance to be saved by another party member...and without Raise Dead being a typical spell for PC's of that level (or the PC regent loses their bloodline even if you are keeping that spell), this can be a total campaign killer.

    So I recently adopted a rule extending the negative HP limit for characters. The max negative HP value is now: [10 + Con modifier + character level].

    So a 14th level character with 15 Con could go to -26 hit points before meeting final death.

    Now, at that level, the PC could still die from a single blow or blast, especially from a crit or failed save vs. a powerful spell. Lethality remains, but the buffer zone is a certainly wider than before.


    These are 2 of my favorite adaptations that I've made for my campaign, though the extended negative HP rule only recently became official (after I had already fudged several instant kill rolls by NPC's).
    I'm curious what folks think, if they've run into similar problems, and what DM's have done about it.

    Osprey

  2. #2
    Well, I've tried convincing my GM over and over again that rising from the dead would be a great idea and even better the ability to be able to become a blooded lich or dracolich...

    Oh well, such dreams will continue to haunt me though the endless night.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  3. #3
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    The kill buffer is interesting (for my d6 based system I have worked something similar to this).

    Another idea you might find interesting is the following: the percentile chance of stabilising being equal to your Constitution score, with a minimum of 10%.

  4. #4
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    I'm running with the buffer zone being Constitution + level. It does give a bit of difference from Osprey, but I don't feel there's too much difference in our methods to really put that into much discussion.

    I'm personally allowing players in normal campaigns to use Raise Dead and Resurrection. Here it costs the usual price as mentioned in the book. In Birthright the rulers are possessing quite a bunch of cash, with them being able to afford several true resurrections if the rulers aren't changed. So there I've changed it so that a resurrection is level dependent and based on the usual costs. For True resurrection the cost is 12.5 GB x level. So bringing back a 3rd level character is 37.5GB, while bringing back Darian Avan would be more than 110GB. So bringing people back from the death isn't something done too often.

  5. #5
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    People die s**t happens get over it.

    If you get into fight's people are going to die.

    thats my opinion but it has to be said that I tend to play low level campaigns that are largely non combat. d20 becomes broken at higher levels anyway its one of the problems with it and why I prefer victory point systems.

    Not that I havn't though about this myself, I had thought of adding in if a critical hit reduces your hit points below 0 you die as you have been criticaly wounded.

    actualy thinking about it the last 5 games i have been in we have had no healers, so if you went below 0 you were boned anyway.

    I know people hate it when their characters die I have seen people get into fights , run of crying etc.

    I don't have a problem with my characters dying , I would rather explain that a death is a chance to roleplay an interesting new character but its your game if you want to give the characters a better chance of living its your choice but I would go the other way myself to show the fatality of battle's.
    MORNINGSTAR

  6. #6
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    I hate killing characters. And hate getting characters killed.

    Sure it offers opportunities when you create a new character, but you do put a lot of time and effort into a character, develop the personality and establish them in the world around them.

    To me death is a very powerful tool, which should be used to advance story lines, but not simply because of random events. I very rarely kill people because of a random encounter, giving the players opportunity to surrender or flee, should things go badly. Of course if they keep on pushing after given an opportunity, I'll see it as a message that it's okay to kill their characters. Fortunately that happens very rarely.

  7. #7
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    death's arn't that common but when they are a definate possibility it cuts down on people doing silly things like charging the goblin hordes screaming don't worry they are only goblins.

    It makes people think of other ways to deal with their problems except going into a long drawn out combat scene that takes for ever.

    I also don't work with random events, as you walk threw the forest you encounetr, pause for rolling dice, goblins please its silly. No encounter is random and if the party or members of it choose to fight they know thay take their lives in their hands.

    I think death is a powerful tool but for the reason's I stated.

    I like killing characters but do not go out of my way to do it, its just a part of the game.

    As for getting characters killed sure it can be annoying but the only thing I hate is when someone has used out of character knowledge to kill you.
    MORNINGSTAR

  8. #8
    Member Hrandal's Avatar
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    I've often run games where you went to negative CON rather than -10, didn't find it game-breaking.

    High level D&D assumes you will die and be returned to life. There are a lot of monsters that have essentially save-or-die abilities. Also NPC spellcasters can easily annihilate a weak character with one spell - or half the group if they get the drop.

    Don't get me wrong, its one of the things I really don't like about 3.0+, but it is implicit in the system that a character should be able to come back. However, D&D in general is tuned towards "hamburger" generic fantasy, while BR as a setting makes much more of an effort to be a solid, consistent background.

    IMHO it makes sense to limit certain spells and effects. To be honest I'd even drastically downpower some of the monsters like the Gorgon. By and large BR is a fairly low-power, prosaic setting that is geared towards roleplaying, and that makes it a good thing. If I wanted to adventure in the land of the Munchkins, I'd play should-be-forgotten-realms instead.

    Last time I ran Birthright I managed to kill half the party just by having a few well-trained soldiers hunt them down and murder them in their beds. A few bad rolls and a lack of attention from the PCs and half of them were dead - with no coming back. Bad for those PCs that died, but the rest learned the lesson damn quick - nobody slept without posting a guard after that. I've no objection to killing PCs, provided there was some reasonable chance for them to have done something to avoid or ameliorate the situation which they neglected to take.
    "As soon as war is declared, it will be impossible to hold the poets back. Rhyme is still the most effective drum."

  9. #9
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I don't know about the Gorgon: I am pro-munchkining him in the good sense of the word, if there is such a thing...

    However, I have to agree that I-will-snuff-your-life spells in Birthright should be reserved for very dramatic issues: consider the feelings a player will have when his most trusted and beloved cohort gets killed by an insta-death spell cast by the BBEG, only to trigger that scion's Divine Wrath most profusely... Very important, since the character is not only motivated, he even gets buffed against the villain!

  10. #10
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I use a system of vitality and wound points (vitality is just normal hp). WP is equal to CON for normal characters. Critical hits do damage directly to wound points, which makes combat very dangerous.

    B
    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

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